Graced by Grit: Interview with Kimberly Caccavo and Kate Nowlan


What is the name of your / the business and social media handle?

Graced by Grit


Instagram:  @gracedbygrit

Twitter: @gracedbygrit

How did the name come about and how long have you been here?

“In January 2013 we opened the business and in September 2013 we hit the ground running. We have been here in Solana Beach since 2015. The name came about because we believe every woman has grit and every woman has the grace to get through it.”

“The idea for GRACEDBYGRIT was conceived during a run. We wanted better fit fabric and technology in our high-performance workout gear. And, so did our friends. We knew that with our combination of athletic, business and technical expertise, we made a powerful team. We got to work and designed clothing that performs 100% of the time. Next, we had to come up with a name. We thought about what it was that we had in common. We had each experienced a major life event that forced us to learn what we were truly made of. Every woman has a gritty moment that could make or break her. It is how we make it through those moments that defines us. It’s realizing that GRIT is often what gives us GRACE.”

What is your role at the company?

Kimberly – CEO

Kate – COO

“Together we do everything. We take out the trash, sweep, clean cabinets, go to events, and design.”

How did you get started?

“We were training together for a triathlon. We thought, what would make us perform better? And the answer was, looking good and feeling good. We were both not seeing what we wanted to see. We wanted compression, good style, color that wouldn’t fade, comfort, and quality material. We wanted to design an active wardrobe that wouldn’t go out of style. Word of mouth is very important to us.”


What is your favorite thing about the business?

“The women, our employees, and customers. We have seven full-time employees, two part-time and consultants! We love hearing stories about other women and what they’ve been through. It’s inspiring to listen to the challenges they face daily and the big challenges that are life changing. Those stories become so inspiring and they help the next person get through what they need to get through.”

What’s the best part about being in Solana Beach?

“The ocean and the active lifestyle of the people here. That was really appealing to us.”

How do you feel your business reflects / fits in the community?

“It’s an active community and we provide clothing to make them perform better.”


Do you know about BLOC and what we’re about?

“Yes! We toured the space not too long ago and were very impressed with it.”

Knowing more about us, is there a way for us to collaborate / work together?

“We can definitely recommend it.”

Do you have anything exciting coming up in the future?

“Raising money. We are making a big pivot to being primarily online and closing the shop in about six months.”

Did you always see yourself doing something like this?

Kimberly – “No. I had an undergraduate degree in engineering. I designed a widget for the space shuttle and have always worked in male dominant businesses, making things for men.”

Kate – “I had a baby really young. I had to make ends meet. Im most proud of this job for sure.”

What was your very first or most memorable job?

Kimberly – “I was an elf at Santa’s Village when I was 13. I also worked at a research lab where we studied cancer drugs. I had to decapitate rats… that was definitely memorable.”

Kate – “I was a lifeguard at an apartment complex during the day, then I would drive prescriptions to old people who couldn’t pick up their own meds. It was really fun because I got to get to know people and make a difference.”

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Kimberly – “Be less impulsive.”

Kate – “Keep on truckin’. Persevere, be resilient, nothing can keep you down.”

Anything else you think we should know about you and your business?

“We make phenomenal clothes that make women feel strong. Everything is made in the U.S.”


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